With India having administered nearly 81 lakh vaccine doses, NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul underscored the importance of fast vaccination to enable the country to open its economy and resume normal work. “We need to do our daily work, maintain our social life, open schools, businesses, take care of our economy.”
Dr Paul said all this is possible only with vaccination at a fast pace. In regards to safety, the expert said all vaccines of the world have been approved under Emergency Use Authorization, just like India’s vaccines. “People from various sections of the society have taken these. The second wave has now receded and it is the best time to take the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said. Dr Paul pointed out how the decision to vaccinate the health workers on priority has protected them during the second wave. “Very few health care workers got infected, otherwise, our hospitals would have collapsed during the second wave, so please be assured that people are being saved from infection due to the vaccine.”
On Monday, India achieved a milestone with 82.70 lakh vaccinations, a daily record by far since the vaccination drive was launched on January 16. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a tweet, said the vaccine remains our strongest weapon to fight COVID-19. “Congratulations to those who got vaccinated and kudos to all the front-line warriors working hard to ensure so many citizens got the vaccine. Well done India.”
Dr NK Arora, Chairperson, National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization in India (NTAGI), said their aim is to vaccinate at least one crore people every day. “Our capacity is such that we will easily be able to administer 1.25 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine every day.” Dr Arora said this target is especially achievable in the wake of good support from private sector and this was proved on the very first day when revised guidelines came into force. “This is not unprecedented. In one week, we give polio vaccines to around 17 crore children. So, when India decides to do something, we are able to achieve it.” He added that India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive is becoming a prime example of how public and private sectors can join together to better address and solve problems faced by the nation.
Dr Arora also emphasized on the people’s participation and public awareness to avoid rumors and misconceptions against vaccination.